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English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница

8. What is his autobiographical novel?

9. Name some other notable works by Dickens.

10. Why is the novel Dombey and Son considered to be one of Dickens's greatest works?

11. Give the main idea of Dombey and Son.

12. What social problems did Charles Dickens write about?

William Thackeray (1811-1863)

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William Makepeace Thackeray [ 'баекэп] was the second represen­tative of critical realism in English li­terature of the 19th century. Dickens and Thackeray were such near con­temporaries that their work was of­ten compared, but Thackeray's life was different from that of Charles Dickens.

William Makepeace Thackeray was born into a prosperous middle class family. His father was a well-to-do Eng- William Makepeace Thackeray lish official in Calcutta [kael 'k\ta], In­dia, where he was born. When his father died, the boy, aged six, was sent to England where he attended the famous Charterhouse [ 'tfaitahaus] School. In 1828 Thackeray entered Cambridge Uni­versity. While a student, he was clever at drawing cartoons and writing verses, chiefly parodies. He did not stay long at the Uni­versity. The stagnant atmosphere of the place suffocated him.

Besides, his wish was to become an artist, and therefore he left the University without graduating and went to Germany, Italy and France to study art.

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 2
Caricature of Thackeray drawn by himself

Intending to complete his edu­cation, Thackeray returned to Lon­don and began a law course in 1833. Meanwhile, the Indian bank in which the money Thackeray in­herited from his father was invest­ed went bankrupt, and Thackeray was left penniless. Thus, he was obliged to drop the studies to earn his living. For a long time he hesi­tated about whether to take up art or literature as a profession. At last he decided to try his hand as a jour­nalist. He wrote humorous articles,

essays, reviews and short stories which he sent to London maga­zines. He illustrated his works with amusing drawings.

The first book which attracted attention was The Book of Snobs (1847), which deals with the upper classes and their followers in the middle classes, whose vices the author criticizes with the sharp pen of satire.

The book draws a gallery of English snobs of different circles of English society. In Thackeray's view a snob is a person who bows down to and flatters his social superior and looks down with con­tempt on his social inferiors.

In his book the author declares war against snobbery, vanity and selfishness.

It was followed by Vanity Fair (A Novel without a Hero) — the peak of social realism, which brought great fame to the novelist, and remains his most-read work up to the present day.

It appeared first in twenty-four monthly instalments which Thackeray illustrated himself, and then in 1848, as a complete book.

The novels of the later period, The History ofPendennis [pen' dems] (1850) and The Newcomes (1855) are realistic, but they show the gradual reconciliation of the author with reality.

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oblige [ab'laKfe] v обязывать to be obliged быть вынужденным official [a'fifal] n служащий peak [pi:k] n пик; вершина reconciliation [,rekansili'eijan] n при­мирение selfishness ['selfifnis] n эгоизм snobbery ['snoban] n снобизм stagnant ['stagnant] а застойный suffocate ['sAfakeit] удушить superior [sju:'piana] а высший по дол­жности vain [vein] а тщеславный vanity ['vaeniti] n тщеславие wicked ['wikid] а злой

In the other novels, Henry Esmond f ezmand] (1852), and The Virginians [va'qsmjanz] (1859) Thackeray turned to historical themes, showing a remarkable knowledge of history.

Thackeray's last novel, Denis Duval, remained unfinished, for Thackeray died in 1863.

Numerous other works written by Thackeray include essays, short stories, sketches, satirical poems. These were popular during the writer's life-time but, for the most part, forgotten by the next generation of readers.

Thackeray is at bottom a satirist. In his novels he gives a vivid description of the upper classes of society, their mode of life, manners and tastes. His knowledge of human nature is broad. His criticism is acute, his satire is sharp and bitter. Thackeray used to say that he wished to describe men and women as they really are.

Thackeray's books are often very sad. He tells us clearly that not only people are often wicked, vain and unjust, but that they can be only what they are due to existing conditions. As Thackeray had no hope of change, many of the pages he wrote are filled with sorrow for the world's ills.

The picture of the life of the ruling classes of England created by Thackeray remains a classic example of social satire to this very day.


acute [g'kjuit] а острый bankrupt ['baerjkrept] n банкрот

to go bankrupt обанкротиться bottom ['botam] n основа

at bottom no натуре bow [bau] v кланяться contempt [kan'tempt] n презрение flatter ['flaeta] v льстить gradual ['grasdjual] а постепенный ill [il] n зло

inferior [m'fiaria] а низший (по поло­жению) inherit [m'hent] v наследовать invest [in'vest] v вкладывать деньги mode [maud] n образ действий

Questions and Tasks

1. What family did Thackeray come from?

2. Where was he educated?

3. What was he clever at while a student?

4. Why didn't he stay long at the University?

5. Where did he go to study art?

6. What did Thackeray begin to study when he returned to London?

7. Why was he obliged to drop his studies?

8. What did he begin to write?

9. Say a few words about Thackeray's first novel The Book of Snobs.

10. Who is a snob in Thackeray's view?

11. What novel is Thackeray's masterpiece?

12. Name his other notable works.

13. What characterizes Thackeray as a satirist?

14. Why are many of the pages he wrote filled with sorrow?

Vanity Fair (A Novel without a Hero)

The subtitle of the book shows the author's intention to describe not individuals, but the bourgeois-aristocratic society as a whole. The author pictu-res the world he describes in the novel as a "very vain, wicked, foolish place, full of all sorts of humbugs, and falseness­es and pretensions". Vanity Fair is a social novel which describes not only society as a whole, but the very laws which govern it. Using satire the author mercilessly exposes the vices of the aristocracy and the merchants, their self-conceit, narrow-mindedness, their worship of money, and moral degradation.

The interest of the novel centres on the characters, rather than on the plot. The author shows various people, their thoughts and actions in different situations. There is no definite hero in the book. In Thackeray's opinion there can be no hero in a society where the cult of money rules the world.

The novel tells of the fates of two girls with sharply contrasting characters — Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. The daughter of a rich city merchant, Amelia Sedley, is a young girl representing "virtue without wit". She is sweet, honest and naive. Her friend Rebecca Sharp or Becky is clever, talented, charming, energetic

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 4

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 5
Thackeray's home where Vanity Fair was

and pleasant to look at. She possesses a keen sense of humour, and a deep understanding of people's nature. The girls meet at school. Becky's father was a teacher of drawing there. After his death Becky has to earn her own living. She un­derstands that society is split into the rich and the poor. Into the world to which Amelia belongs, Becky Sharp, represent­ing "wit without virtue", forces her way after many struggles. Her only aim in life is to get to high socie­ty at all costs1. She de­cides to get to the top of it through marriage. Re­becca tries to entrap Ame­lia's brother Joseph f фэшгх], He is lazy and foolish, but rich. Her plans are ruined by George Osborn ['dz-Ьэп], Amelia's fiance. Becky believes neither in love nor friendship. She flirts with George Osborn, though he is the husband of her friend. She is ready to marry any man to gain wealth and title.

Becky begins to work at Sir Pitt Crawley's fkro:hz] asagoverness. She secretly marries Sir Pitt Crawley's son Rawdon fro:dn], who is to inherit his rich aunt's money. But old Miss Crawley cannot forgive her favourite nephew this foolish step and leaves her money to Rawdon's brother, Sir Pitt. No wonder Rebecca almost loses "her presence of mind" when she realizes how wrong her calculations

were. At that time Pitt Crawley himself proposes to her. The fact that Pitt is old and that she despises him does not count with her. Pitt is the owner of Queen's Crawley. He possesses money and title and these were the only things Becky's greedy nature wishes. "I would have had the town-house newly furnished and decorated. I


would have had the handsomest carriage in London, and a box at the opera, ... All this might have been; and now — now all was doubt and mystery."

Flattery, hypocrisy, lies and other mean actions help Becky to join the upper classes of society, but no happiness is in store for her1. Her life has neither real feelings, nor honest aims in view.

Contrary to Becky, Amelia is honest, generous and kind to all the people she comes in touch with, and is admired by all."... she could not only sing like a lark... and embroider beautifully, and spell as well as a Dictionary itself, but she had such a kindly, smiling, tender, gentle, generous heart of her own as won the love of everybody who came near her...".

But for all that Amelia cannot be regarded as a heroine of the novel: she is not clever enough to understand the real qualities of the people who surround her. She is too unintelligent, naive and simple hearted to expose all the dirty machinations of the clever and sly Rebecca. She is absolutely "blind" to all the faults of her lightminded and selfish husband, and even after his death she is determined to remain faithful to him.

Suddenly Sedley goes bankrupt. Old Osborne disinherits his son because he has married Amelia, the daughter of his bank­rupt friend. Soon after their marriage George is sent to Belgium { to fight against Napoleon's army. He is killed on the field of Wa-; terloo ['wolalu:]. Now Amelia and her son George are very poor. They only receive occasional presents from little Georgy's god-| father, Colonel Dobbin. He loves Amelia and little Georgy and | after his friend's death proposes to Amelia. Only in the end Ame­lia learns that her husband wanted to leave her and flee with | Becky. Then she agrees to marry Dobbin. Though Dobbin, like

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 6 1 at all costs — любой ценой

1 but no happiness is in store for her — но ее не ждет счастье

Amelia, is an exception in Vanity Fair, he is too primitive and narrow-minded to be admired by the author.

Captain Rawdon Crawley returns a colonel. Rebecca is pre­sented to the court and recognized by upper society. Yet her ca­reer soon comes to an end. Her relations with Lord Steyne [sti:n] are disclosed, and her husband leaves her. Her son is adopted by Rawdon's brother. Rebecca becomes an adventuress.

Old Osborn dies leaving his money to his grandson. Dobbin is appointed as Georgy's guardian.

Vanity Fair is one of the greatest examples of critical realism of the 19th century. The action is carried forward by a series of plots and subplots; the setting is detailed and varied, the characters are real individuals.

Questions and Tasks

1. Explain the meaning of the subtitle of Vanity Fair.

2. What vices of bourgeois-aristocratic society are mercilessly exposed by Thackeray in the book?

3. Name the main characters of the novel.

4. Give the main facts of Amelia's and Rebecca's life.

5. Why do we say that Rebecca Sharp embodies the spirit of Vanity Fair?

6. Do you find any characters that are either all good or all bad?

7. What traits of character do Amelia and Rebecca possess?

8. Why do we consider Vanity Fairio be one of the greatest examples of the

19th century critical realism?

The Bronte Sisters

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 7 Vocabulary

adopt [s'dcpt] vусыновлять adventures [gd'ventjgns] n авантюристка appoint [a'pomt] v назначать calculation [,kaelkju'leij3n] n расчет charming ['tja:min] а очаровательный colonel [кз:п1] п полковник despise [dis'paiz] v презирать * disclose [dis'kbuz] v раскрывать disinherit ['dism'hant] v лишать на­следства embroider [im'broids] v вышивать , entrap [m'trasp] n обмануть exception [ik'sepjan] n исключение fiance [ft'a:nsei] n жених flattery ['flsetsn] n лесть flee [fli:] v (fled) убегать flirt [fl3:t] v флиртовать godfather ['gt>dfa:6a] n крестный guardian ['gadjsn] n опекун humbug ['ЬлтЬлд] п обман hypocrisy [hi'prjkrssi] n лицемерие keen [ki:n] а глубокий lark [la:k] n жаворонок lightminded ['lait'mamdid] а легко­мысленный

machination [^maeki'neifan] n козни

mean [mi:n] о низкий, подлый

mercilessly f rmisihsli] odv безжалос­тно

naive [na:'i:v] а наивный

narrow-mindedness fnaerau'mamdidnis] n ограниченность

nephew ['nevju:] n племянник

occasional [э'ке1зэп1] а случающийся время от времени

pretension [ргГten/an] n притворство

self-conceat [ 'selfksn 'si:t] n само­мнение

setting ['setirj] n окружающая обста­новка

sharply ['Ja:pli] adv резко

shy [fai] а застенчивый

sly [slai] а хитрый

split [split] v (split) делиться

subplot ['sAb'ptot] n побочная сюжет­ная линия

subtitle ['sAb,taitl] n подзаголовок

virtue ['v3:tju:] n добродетель

wit [wit] n ум

worship ['\V3:Jip] n поклонение

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 8
The Bronte Sisters

There were three Brontes — novelists: Charlotte (1816 — 1855), Emily (1818- 1848) and Anne (1820- 1849). Their fa­ther was an Irish protestant, a clergyman in Yorkshire. Their mother died when the girls were little. The children were entirely devoted to reading, writing, drawing, wandering over the open moors and play­ing a game of story telling about their imaginary heroes. The sisters received their edu­cation at a charity school and worked as governesses. Private teaching was the only profession open to educated women, and the Brontes needed to earn their living.

Their life was hard, and they tried to create a new world of their imagination. The sisters turned to literature though they knew of the difficulties a woman writer had to face when it came to publication. Their first volume of verse was published under a masculine pseudonym. Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (1846).

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 9 Nowadays Charlotte and Emily rank among the greatest re­alists of the 19th century. Anne is less known, though her Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall cannot be ignored, either.


charity-school [ 'tfcentisku:l] n приют pseudonym ['sjuidsnim] n псевдоним
(для бедных детей) rank [rsrjk] v относиться к числу; п ряд

masculine ['maskjulm] о мужской

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte's first attempt at prose writing, the novel The Professor (1847) was rejected by publishers. But the young author was not discouraged and began her next novel Jane Eyre [' ёзет' еэ] (1847) which brought her fame and placed her in the rank of the foremost English realistic writers.

She was personally acquainted with Dickens and Thackeray, and the latter greatly influenced her literary method.

In 1849 Charlotte Bronte published Shirley [ '/3:li]. The novel dealt with the life of workers at the time of the Luddites' movement.

The author's sympathies are with the working people. The last novel by Charlotte Bronte, Vilette [vf let], which came out in 1853, is a realistic description of her experiences at a boarding-school in Brussels.

In her novels Charlotte Bronte combined scenes from her own life with the far richer and more romantic experiences which she imagined. She aimed to make her novels a realistic picture of society but she also added to her realism elements of roman­ticism. The main subject of her books is the soul of a woman, a governess or a teacher. Her heroines are generous, intelligent, modest and gentle. Charlotte Bronte attacks the greed and lack of culture of the bourgeoisie and sympathises with the workers and peasants. She is convinced that society can be reformed by means of education.


convince [kgn'vms] v убеждать foremost ['fsmsust] а передовой

discourage [dis клшсЦ vобескураживать soul [saul] n душа

Jane Eyre

On the first pages of the book the reader meets Jane Eyre as a small girl at her aunt's house. She loses both of her parents shortly after birth. Her aunt, Mrs Reed, a woman of despotic character is rude and unjust to the poor orphan. Mrs Reed's children also find pleasure in teasing and mocking Jane.

One day, unable to bear the torture any longer, Jane tells straight to her aunt's face all she thinks of her. She is an orphan, a plain and penniless girl, but she possesses her own feelings of right and wrong. Mrs Reed is furious and gets rid of her hated niece by sending her to the Lowood Institution, a charity school for poor girls.

Jane meets with terrible living conditions in Lowood. She stays there for eight long years, six spent in studies, and the remaining two as a teacher.

The other part of the book is one of the most romantic love stories in English literature. When Jane grows up she becomes the governess of Mr Rochester's foster daughter. Mr Rochester is a rich squire. He is a b, noble, proud, manly and tragic figure. He is much older than Jane. His life has been miserable. He has been wandering here and there seeking rest and dulling his intellect. Heart-weary and soul-withered Mr Rochester meets Jane. He finds in her many of the good and bright qualities which he has sought for twenty years. He proposes to Jane. She is in love with her master and agrees to become his wife. The young woman does not know the truth: for years Mr Rochester has kept a luna­tic wife in his house in charge of a servant. Nobody suspects her existence. On the eve of Jane's marriage the lunatic enters Jane's room and tears her bridal veil in half. In the church she learns Mr Rochester is married. Shocked by the news, she thinks she must leave Thornfield, though she still loves Mr Rochester.

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 10 Half-starved, worn-out and soaked to the skin Jane comes across a parson who helps her to get the job of a teacher in a village-school. Soon she discovers the parson to be her cousin and that she is the heiress of a large sum of money that her uncle on her father's side has left her.

Meanwhile, a great misfortune happens to Mr Rochester: he loses his sight during the fire in the house, caused by his mad wife who meets a tragic death by jumping off the roof in spite of his attempt to save her.

Hearing that Mr Rochester is quite broken down, Jane Eyre comes to him and becomes his right hand and the apple of his eye. They marry and their life is very happy.

Jane Eyre depicts a poor girl's rebellion against cruelty, injus­tice, the division of people into the rich and poor, the inhuman educational system in English charity schools. Another problem raised in the novel is the position of women in society.

The novel examines many sides of the circumstances of women, and Jane's words at the end, "Reader, I married him" show a new move towards freedom and equality. Jane controls her own life and, through all her difficulties and problems, becomes more in­dependent.

Charlotte Bronte presents things in a realistic and satirical way. In Mr Rochester's house Jane meets the county gentry — uncultured, ambitious, cold and vulgar. They are contrasted with Jane, a poor orphan. She is honest, intelligent, brave and b-willed.

There are a lot of emotional and thrilling episodes in the novel. Charlotte Bronte also has fine knowledge of the English language and she uses it skilfully.


ambitious [sem'bijgs] a честолюбивый apple of the eye n зеница ока bear [Ьеэ] v (bore; borne) переносить bridal ['braidl] а свадебный charge [tfa:c^] n забота

to be in charge of иметь (кого-л.) на попечении division [di'vi3n] n деление dull [d41] v притуплять foster ['fbstg] а приемный

sight [sait] n зрение soak [sauk] v промачивать (о дожде) to be soaked to the skin промок­нуть насквозь (до нитки) sought [so:t] past и р. р. от seek soul-withered fssulwKfod] а изнуренный suspect [sss'pekt] v подозревать tear [tea] v (tore; torn) рвать tease [ti:z] v дразнить torture ['to:tfs] n муки veil [veil] n фата worn-out ['wo:n'airt] а усталый, изну­ренный

gentry ftfeentn] n мелкопоместное дво­рянство heart-weary ['halwisn] а усталый heiress f'eans] n наследница lunatic ['limstik] а сумасшедший manly ['maenli] а мужественный mock [rrrak] v насмехаться parson fpa:sn] n приходский священник plain [plem] а простой rebellion [n'beljsn] n бунт rid [rid] v (rid; ridden) избавлять

to get rid of избавиться seek [si:k] v (sought) искать

Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte wrote only one novel Wuthering Heights fwAdann 'halts] — her prose-poem. This book is regarded as one of the most remarkable novels in English literature.

It is a novel of passion, an early psychological novel. The cen­tral characters, Cathy and Heathcliff live out their passion in the windy, rough countryside of Yorkshire, and the landscape is as wild as their relationship. The novel is very original in the way it is written, moving backward and forward in time, and in and out of the minds of the characters. Again it presents a new view of women and their emotions.

The book is strange. On the one hand the plot is full of mys­tery. On the other hand the novel is very concrete: the time of the action, the landscape, geography and climate are realistic. The author of the book makes no difference between the supernatu­ral and natural. Both work together to serve her artistic purpose. The mystery and the supernatural are used as romantic elements in her original study of violent characters.

Emily Bronte's characters and actions may seem unbelievable but they convince us. They are unique, and their violent emo­tions are connected with the Yorkshire moors where the action takes place. The moors are varying to suit the changing moods of the story, and they are beautifully described in all seasons.

Emily Bronte very skilfully shows the reader her heroes' psy­chology and moral conflicts, their desires, passions, temperaments and human weaknesses.


concrete [kDn'kiit] a конкретный unique [ju'ni:k] a необыкновенный

psychology [saf кю1эф] п психология vary [vean] v меняться
suit [sju:t] v соответствовать violent ['vaiatant] а неистовый

supernatural [,sju:p9'na£tjrel] о сверхъ­естественный

Anne Bronte

The youngest Bronte sister, Anne, wrote The Tenant ofWildfell Hall (1848) also with an unusual central female character and involving complex relationships and problems.

All three Bronte sisters faced these kinds of problems into the novel with unusual courage and directness, and together they changed the way the novel could present women characters: after the Brontes, female characters were more realistic, less idealized and their struggles became the subject of a great many novels later in the nineteenth century.


directness [daf rektnis] n прямота female ['fiimeil] а женский . involve [in'volv] v затрачивать

Questions and Tasks

1. Name the three Bronte's — novelists.

2. What do you know about their childhood?

3. Where did they receive their education?

4. What profession was open to educated women at that time?

5. Why did the Brontes turn to literature?

6. What was their first volume of verse?

7. Who ranks among the greatest realists of the 19th century?

8. What was Charlotte Bronte's first attempt at prose writing?

9. What novel brought her fame?

10. What were her last two novels about?

11. Name the main subject of Charlotte Bronte's books.

12. What traits of characters do her heroines possess?

13. Give a brief summary of the contents of Jane Eyre.

14. What themes does Charlotte Bronte touch upon in Jane Eyre?

15. What can you say about the only novel of Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights'?

16. Comment on the plot and the characters of the novel Wuthering Heights.

17. What novel was written by Anne Bronte?

18. What is the Bronte sisters' contribution to the development of the English novel?

George Eliot (1819-1881)

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George Eliot

George Eliot ['dp:d3'elj3t] is the pen-name of Mary Ann Evans ['evanz], who began writing fiction when she was already middle-aged. Until then she had worked as a journalist. Mary's fa­ther was a land agent. She was born some twenty miles from Stratford-on-Avon, but spent her childhood on a farm in the Midlands. The girl studied at two private schools for young ladies. After her mother's death she left school at the age of seventeen. Since that time, to almost thirty she kept house for her widowed father. Along with her work in the house, she found time to study languages, biology and other sciences. Mary read a great deal and became interested in social and philosophical prob­lems. She became one of the most learned women of her time. After she had moved to London she translated some philosophi­cal works from German into English and acted as assistant editor of the Westminster Review.

English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 12 English Literature in the Beginning of the 19th Century 4 страница - Инвестирование - 13 George Eliot best works are: Adam Bede [bi:d] (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860) and Silas fsailas] Marner (1861). These books are a wonderful study of English provincial life. They deal with rural society — the farmers, the small landlords and the clergy of Warwickshire. Eliot's works are also rich in descriptions of the English countryside, drawn with exactness and a deep love of nature. The persons she writes of are for the most part the com­mon people of the country and village, whom she knew from her earliest years.

George Eliot very skilfully reveals to the reader her heroes' psychology and moral conflicts. Their desires, passion, tempera­ment and human weaknesses are always struggling with their moral duty. That is why in her novels George Eliot deals mostly with the problems of religion and morality. Eliot shows an emo­tional sympathy and tenderness towards her heroes, praising their human dignity, unselfishness, honesty and frankness, and at the same time pitilessly unmasking the hypocrisy and wickedness of those who make them suffer.

The works of the later period — Romola fromab] (1863), Felix Holt [ 'fi:liks 'hault], the Radical (1866), Middlemarch (1872) and Daniel Deronda [da'rrmda] (1876) — are much weaker. They contain less observation and fhspiration.

But George Eliot must be judged by the books in which she gave her talent, the books that brought her fame and made her one of the most distinguished English novelists of the period.

George Eliot's work belongs to the later period of the 19th century novel. She has sometimes been described as the first modern English novelist. Her great merit is a deep psychological analysis of the characters she portrays, and a keen observation of their inner world.

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